Character Jug Price Guide, Doulton Character Jugs, Variations, Prototypes and Colourways

Izaak Walton Character Jug information and price guide

The Royal Doulton Izaak Walton Character Jug, crafted by the esteemed designer Harry Fenton, was introduced in 1953 as a commemorative piece, marking the 300th anniversary of the publication of “The Compleat Angler” and the 250th anniversary of the death of its author, Izaak Walton. With its reference number 6404, this jug was produced exclusively in a large version and remained in production until its withdrawal in 1982.

Royal Doulton Large Character Jug Izaak Walton D6404
Royal Doulton Large Character Jug Izaak Walton D6404. Standard version Estimate £15-£25.

Izaak Walton, born in 1593, is celebrated for his work “The Compleat Angler,” a classic piece of literature that remains one of the most reprinted books in the English language. The book, a detailed manual on the art of fishing, interspersed with poetry and musings on nature, reflects Walton’s deep appreciation for the tranquility and beauty of the natural world. The handle of the jug features a piece of wood on which is fishing rod is detailed at the front and a fishing net on the reverse.

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The jug’s design, inspired by a portrait of Izaak Walton by the Flemish painter Jacob Huysmans, captures the serene and thoughtful demeanor of Walton. Huysmans, known for his baroque style, created a portrait that emphasized Walton’s scholarly and contemplative nature, traits that Fenton skillfully incorporated into the jug’s design. The jug features Walton in period attire, wearing a hat that features a fly, a direct nod to his contributions to angling literature and his status as a patron saint of fishing.

Huysmans, Jacob, c.1633-1696; Izaak Walton
Huysmans, Jacob; Izaak Walton; National Portrait Gallery, London.

This character jug is not just a piece of ceramic art; it is a tribute to Izaak Walton’s enduring legacy in the world of angling and literature. The attention to detail in replicating Huysmans’ portrait, coupled with the thematic elements related to “The Compleat Angler,” makes this jug a significant collectible. Its production span from 1953 to 1982 adds to its historical and collectible value, making it a sought-after piece among enthusiasts of Royal Doulton ceramics, literary memorabilia, and angling history.

Izaak Walton Character Jug Variations – The main version shows Izaak Walton in a maroon clothing with white ruff and a maroon hat. Variations include a dark green and a near black clothing version.

Royal Doulton large character jug Izaak Walton D6404 City of Stoke on Trent Jubilee backstamp
Royal Doulton large character jug Izaak Walton D6404 City of Stoke on Trent Jubilee backstamp. Sold for £110 at Potteries Auctions, July 2023.

The “Izaak Walton” jug, through Harry Fenton’s design, serves as a bridge connecting the worlds of ceramic art, literature, and angling, celebrating the life and work of one of England’s most revered authors in a form that is both artistic and commemorative.

Royal Doulton large character jug Izaak Walton D6404 painted in a green colour way
Royal Doulton large character jug Izaak Walton D6404 painted in a green colour way. Sold for £160 at Potteries Auctions, November 2022.

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